The Benefits Of Meditation

meditation for business womenLadies, do you meditate? I’ve never found the time to learn to meditate myself, always considering it a luxury — but I just got back from an alumni networking event that featured a lot of mini-talks about the benefits of meditation for business women, lawyers, and other executives, and now I’m kind of fascinated. Did you realize that when done right, you’re literally changing the physical structure of your brain (a concept called neuroplasticity)?

I’m still looking into it, but here’s what strikes me as some of the best benefits of meditation and a “mindfulness practice”:

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The Best Ways to Relax After A Stressful Day

The Best Ways to Relax After a Stressful DayHere’s a fun topic: what are the best ways to relax after a stressful day? We had an open thread about ways to relax a thousand years ago (well, 2010), and we’ve talked about ways to turn off work mode and how to turn a bad day around, but it’s been a while there too. So let’s hear it, ladies — what are your favorite ways to relax after a stressful day? What things do you do on the daily to help you unwind — and what things do you build into your schedule regularly to help reduce stress and help you relax? Do tricks like rituals or compartmentalization help you relax?

For my $.02, as I’ve mentioned before I read super silly brain candy books at bedtime, which usually helps me with whatever anxiety is ailing me that day (or unwind from whatever outrage-inducing thing I read in the news or on Facebook that evening) — and if I’m really stressed out I may just get into bed after the kids are down and read my book or play on my iPad instead of settling in front of the TV. I can never quite get the hang of doing serious exercising at night, but a long walk & talk on my cell phone often helps me relax. If I’m skittish and overthinking things, making lists sometimes helps me relax because the list becomes a brain dump — and it lets me know that I can hit the ground running the next day. I’m not really a bubble bath person, but a long hot shower at the end of the day is also a good way to unwind. This is probably as close as I get to a ritual — if I’ve had a stressful day I actively think it’s time to “wash the day off and start fresh.” In terms of semi-regular things, a massage always helps get rid of knots — if I’m really tense and can’t get away I sometimes try to do foam rolling with the guidance of videos like this one from Livestrong/Ashley Borden. Also in terms of semi-regular things (I guess?), I recently started going to Mass again, mostly because I’m forcing my 6 year old to do PSR and his classes are at the same time — and it’s been interesting to note how just sitting quietly for 45-60 minutes is relaxing, even if I’m not really listening or following along with the Mass — no phone to play with, no 10,000 tabs open (either mentally or literally), no to-do lists… (I know, bad Catholic!).

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How to Stop Overthinking/Worrying About the Future

how to stop overthinkingWhat are your best tips to stop yourselves from overthinking, readers? How can you work through anxiety and excessive worrying about the future? We’ve talked about how to focus at work as well as how to deal with anxiety, but not in a long time — so let’s discuss how to stop overthinking. Reader C wonders…

I really enjoyed your article on how to prevent/stop tears at work. I have a similar issue that I’d like addressed: How to stop overthinking an upcoming “mystery” meeting. For example, this morning, we got an all-hands meeting put on our calendar for later in the day. And now my mind can’t stop racing thinking about what is going to be discussed at this “emergency” meeting! Last time we had a similar meeting, we found out my boss got fired. Any tips to stop that Type A mind from speculating?

Oooh, good question, C; I can’t wait to hear what the readers say, particularly since I am definitely occasionally guilty of worrying about the future — and sometimes have to tell myself to stop overthinking things. Some advice I’ve read over the years:

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Open Thread: On Drinking Too Much, Jobs That Encourage Drinking, and Drinking Because of Job-Related Stress

women lawyers and drinkingDrinking and drug use can be a problem for anyone, but there have been a number of stories lately about how it’s particularly a problem for lawyers. (We’ve also talked in the past about how there are many high-achieving women who drink too much, too, and there was a great Medium post by Kristi Coulter last summer that explored the idea that “to be a modern, urbane women is to be a serious drinker.”) I asked Rebecca Berfanger to take a look into drinking advice for women lawyers and other professionals — what are the best tips out there for cutting back on your drinking? How can you navigate a culture of drinking — without getting sucked in? Readers: for those of you who have successfully moderated your drinking or stopped drinking entirely — what are your best tips? (For those of you who care to share — have you ever had a drug problem? What resources or tips do you recommend to other women in your situation?) For those of you who manage lifestyle and job-related stress in ways OTHER than drinking, what do you do instead to relax, take the edge off or “turn off work mode“? (Welcome back to Corporette®, Rebecca!) – Kat

Following a 2016 study by the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and the American Bar Association Commission on Lawyer Assistance Programs, the ABA reported that “21 percent of licensed, employed lawyers qualify as problem drinkers, 28 percent struggle with some level of depression and 19 percent demonstrate symptoms of anxiety.” The study also found that “younger attorneys in the first 10 years of practice exhibit the highest incidence of these problems.”

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How to Take a Partial Social Media Break

Something I’ve noticed a LOT of friends doing lately is backing away from social media. I’ve been doing a partial social media break, since as a blogger I can’t really take a total break — but I’ve definitely modified my consumption. So let’s talk about it: What are you doing with the extra time if you’re on a break? Where are you getting your news and intel if you’re on a TOTAL break? What other ways are there to take a partial social media break? (In related news, we’ve also talked about how to focus on work when current events are stressful.) Some options I’ve heard of or have done myself for a partial social media break:

1) Modify your news feed so you don’t see people, groups, or news sources that are stressing you out. I regularly do this trick with people I’m “friends” with on Facebook for some historical reason, but don’t want to see every hourly thought from — for example, that guy who sat behind me in English class in 11th grade. I will also admit that I did this with groups like Pantsuit Nation and Lawyers for Good Government, particularly in the days before the inauguration where I felt like I kept seeing frenzied posts containing bad information.

Here’s how to hide posts from friends: Click the dropdown arrow and then choose “Unfollow ____.” You’ll stay friends but stop seeing posts.

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Resolutions for 2017 – What Are Yours?

Resolutions for Busy Women | CorporetteResolutions: Do you do ’em? We talked last year about how some people have a resolution theme instead of a list (I had to read my post to remember that “hungry” was my resolution — sad!), but I think this year I’m back to a simple list of things, all aimed at finally losing the baby weight and trying to grow my business.

Like I did last year, I thought I’d round up some of our posts that might help you with popular resolutions, like looking more polished, moving more, growing your career, and more.  Ladies, what are your resolutions for 2017? How did you do on your resolutions from 2016? Did anyone have any breakthroughs that you’d care to share?

Look More Polished

Appreciate More, Stress Less

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